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Award of the Toy of the Year 2004 for Left-Handed Children
to the firm Holz-Hoerz GmbH.
for the boomerang VARIO-RANG
The firm Holz-Hoerz has developed the boomerang VARIO-RANG, which is just as suitable for left-handers as for right-handers. Changing the boomerang from a left-handed model to a right-handed one is quite simple with the help of a Philips screwdriver. The boomerang can also be converted into countless other types according to the handedness of the user. It can offer left-handers and right-handers a lot of fun with its various shapes and flight patterns.
These are the reasons why we are making the award to the firm Holz-Hoerz for the boomerang VARIO-RANG
Toy of the Year 2004 for Left-Handed Children.
As a clear example we select the “Tomahawk” form of the boomerang VARIO-RANG (Art. Nr. 143040).
Illustration: “Tomahawk”, Format for left-handers (for right-handers the mirror image)
Description of the boomerang
The VARIO-RANG consists of three layered wooden slats (each 33 cm long), which are bevelled on one side and flat on the other. The three slats are each provided with seven drill holes and can be connected by means of three screws to make an equilateral triangle or other flying shapes.
During assembly it is important to note that the bevels are all on the same side. As one wing of the boomerang always flies out before the other in the direction of rotation, it should be noted that for left-handed use the front upper end of the left slat lies above the neighbouring right slat; the lower end of the slat then lies under the other neighbouring slat. For use by right-handers, the front upper end is above the right slat.
The screws should always be on the flat, unbevelled side. This is important for the aerodynamics and flight pattern of the VARIO-RANG.
Conversion according to handedness
The conversion of a left-handed boomerang model into a right-handed one is quite simple. By loosening one screw, the VARIO-RANG can easily be disconnected and screwed up again. Changing the handedness of the boomerang can be done without any problems for left and right-handed friends and family.
Assembly and user instructions
The VARIO-RANG comes with instructions, which through text and illustrations tackle the following themes:
- Assembly for left and right-handers
- Safety instructions
- Precise instructions for throwing and catching
- Advice for fine tuning
- Advice for when it “simply does not work”
- According to handedness it is advised that:
- For left-handers, the VARIO-RANG flies clockwise
- For right-handers, the VARIO-RANG flies anti-clockwise
The VARIO-RANG fits compactly (by removing one screw) with the instructions in an accompanying plastic box. Don’t forget the screwdriver!
The VARIO-RANG in various forms is suitable for children from about six to seven years old with good motor and visual skills. There are no age limits for this boomerang, which makes a good toy for older children as well as adults.
Variations of the VARIO-RANG for children
“Two-piece” boomerangs are particularly recommended for children.
1.a) “Flying Cross”
Two slats are joined in the middle by a screw to make a cross. This boomerang is very light and flies – with a little power and rotation of “scooped” wrist – when there is little or no wind. This variation is totally safe.
1.b) “Flying T”
The “Flying T” consists of just two wing slats and a screw connection. The throwing technique and wind conditions are the same as for the “Flying Cross”. It is somewhat “temperamental” in flight, but still quite safe.
Illustrations: Both these models can be used without any need to convert for left and right hands
Variations for youngsters and adults
Amongst the “three piecers” are some of the following variations:
The “Tomahawk” consists of three slats and three screw connections. It is, like all the “three-wing variations”, clearly heavier than the “two-piecers”. It will fly in medium winds and with no wind. The behaviour in flight is only moderately “temperamental”. Due to the long hovering phase at the end, it is safe and also suitable for children and young persons but the flat (“sickle”) throw must definitely be avoided!
2.b) “Flying Triangle”
The “Flying Triangle” also consists of three wings and three screws as well as three additional weights (e.g. short threaded screw M4 with a protective cover). It flies in medium to strong winds, spinning with full power and high rotation when thrown from the shoulder (also by turning the hips). Although this design flies fast and “temperamentally”, it is safe and is suitable, for strong youngsters and adults on account of the high power needed to throw it.
Variations of the VARIO-RANG only for the “experienced”
The “Three-winger” variation without additional weights is very “temperamental” and rather like a “flying circular saw”, making it only suitable for experienced youngsters and adults!
Illustrations: These three models represented are for left-handers; for right-handers the respective mirror image forms must be built
Any other model shapes should only be attempted by experienced throwers due the possible danger of injury!
The firm Holz-Hoerz has succeeded in making a product which has been well thought out and designed. It is equally suited to both left and right hands of children. The assembly is independent of handedness, fine motor skills or spatial perception. For throwing and catching, all the motor skills are used, body co-ordination as well as visual perception. With the numerous assembly possibilities, creativity is required and – in teamwork with others – communication skills and acceptance of left-handedness is encouraged.
The illustrations have been made available by kind permission of the firm Holz-Hoerz.